In Chad, Irina Bokova promotes inclusive education and sustainable education
During her official visit to Chad, on 31 March 2012, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova held extensive discussions with the Minister of Secondary Education, also President of the Chadian National Commission for UNESCO. The Minister highlighted the country's educational challenges, in particular that of strengthening technical and vocational education and introducing citizenship education and culture of peace into the national curriculum. The Minister drew the attention of the Director-General to a forum on the education system, from early childhood to higher education, which will be held in May, for which Chad is seeking the Organization’s expertise.
The Director-General recalled UNESCO’s longstanding support to the Chadian government and assured the Minister of the deepening of this cooperation -- notably in the areas of planning and managing the education system, adult literacy, non-formal education, and the reform of programs for teacher training. Irina Bokova underlined the importance of a comprehensive approach, from early childhood to higher education, as well as the need for reliable statistical data for effective planning and a broad vision of the development of the entire education sector.
The Director-General and the Minister inaugurated together the Center of Statistics of all Ministries responsible for Education. This has been established with the support of UNESCO, within the framework of CapEFA – the capacity building programme for Education for All.
During a meeting with Ministers working in the fields of competence of UNESCO, the Minister of Secondary Education and Chairman of the National Commission welcomed the efforts made by the Director-General to advance the global priorities of the Organization - Africa and gender equality. On behalf of his colleagues, he underlined those areas where Chad has benefited from UNESCO support, in the fields of education, culture and communication, highlighting also the reform underway to strengthen UNESCO’s presence in the field. The Minister called on UNESCO to participate in the implementation of the Interim Strategy for Education and Literacy, which should allow Chad to gain access to funds from the Global Partnership for Education. The Minister also reminded the Director-General that the proposal of the Ounianga lakes for inscription on the World Heritage List will be considered by the World Heritage Committee in June 2012, in St. Petersburg.
The Director-General had also the opportunity to present to the Heads of agencies of the United Nations present in Chad the priorities of the Organization, emphasizing the guiding principles of UNESCO work -- equity, quality and sustainability. She underscored the role of science and technology for sustainable development, pointing to the importance of the First African Forum on this issue, to be held in Nairobi on 3 April 2012, in the run-up to Rio +20.
The United Nations Country Team highlighted the strategic importance of enhanced action by UNESCO for the implementation of joint programs in a range of areas – from responding to emergencies and promoting the use of local languages, to increasing the mobilization of new partners for financing education.